Change in the air
I went for a walk today with the dogs and the air was fairly bursting with excitement as the cold weather descends from the north. All of nature was collaborating, singing, joyous. As we walked down the road the earthy scent of rain and snow was picked up and carried in the gusts of wind beginning to swirl around us. The birds were excitedly chattering in the treetops, preparing for what they know intuitively is coming. Leaves came drifting down like they were dancing, the trees that still have leaves left cast a golden glow on everything in their reach. Pure, palpable beauty.
"Hygge" is a Danish and Norwegian concept that is a sort of acceptance and love of the long, cold dark days of winter and all that it brings. Candles are lit, throws and pillows abound, books and hot drinks become plentiful. Outdoor activity doesn't stop, it changes. Skiing, skating, playing in the snow, and brisk walks are anticipated and enjoyed, as are the warmth of coming inside to a bright, roaring fire.
It's all in how you think about it
I recently read an article and I can't remember where I read it, but there were studies conducted in Norway, which has one of the highest rates of happiness, and the shortest days and longest winters, of most places on the planet. The researchers posed the question "How do you keep yourself in a good mood in the winter?" Very quickly they found that to be the wrong question as the answers came back. "Why wouldn't I be in a good mood?"
What researchers found was that the people in the study had a different concept of winter, cold, and darkness. They weren't fighting it, they embraced it, and loved it for what it was- Cold weather activities, indoor conversations, reading, the warmth of the fire, soup and warm drinks- of course they were happy, why wouldn't they be?
I think there are many profound lessons in that, maybe to expound on another day. For today, I'm simply going to embrace the beauty that is winter and send some little snowy paintings out into to the world.
To see and/or purchase these paintings and more, click here here-